West Virginia: No. 31 football state
In addition to providing coal to power Eastern cities, West Virginia has provided a deep vein of NFL talent. Sam Huff, a hard-hitting linebacker with the Giants and Redskins, might be the best-known player from the state, but four others are in the Hall of Fame: center Frank Gatski, tackle Joe Stydahar, coach Earl "Greasy" Neale and running back Cliff Battles, the first player to rush for 200 yards in an NFL game.
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The Mountaineers and Major Harris fired musket shots heard round the nation in 1988 before losing to Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. Marshall, a school touched by the deaths of players and coaches in a tragic 1970 plane crash, thundered into Division I play in the 1990s with six straight bowl games and players such as quarterback Chad Pennington and receiver Randy Moss.
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Paul McCoy broke the West Virginia single-game rushing record this season with 658 yards in a game that left a sour taste for some, who thought Matewan High School was running up the score. One of the best receivers of the past decade, Randy Moss, is from West Virginia. Spring 2006 DI signees: one. Fall 2006 high school football teams: 121.
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